Before I begin today I want to give a very special “Thank You” to my webmaster and very good friend Tim. He has spent countless hours setting up this site with me and coaching me through my many questions. Your talents with this stuff always amazes me. So thank you!
January 27, 2011
It has been a relatively slow couple days with the Nationals and with baseball in general. However, I have been lucky enough to get a few questions from some of my readers, so I thought this snowy Thursday might be the perfect time to debut “Questions from the Readers”…. also known as Bill Simmons mailbag.
Matt M. Bethesda, MD -> What does your grading system represent?
Good question! Very straightforward:
An “A” -> a signing or trade that I fully endorse with no reservations… a GREAT move
A “B” -> a transaction I like but have some reservations about, I endorse the move but do not love it
A “C” -> a move that I am “50-50” on, I do not hate the move nor do I endorse it
A “D” -> a deal that I do not like for many reasons and would not have done myself
A “F” -> a terrible move…. That team just got stolen from
Jim D. Boston, Mass -> What would the Nationals be giving up to acquire Fausto Carmona and/or Grady Sizemore?
As was first reported the other day by Phil Wood of MASN, the Nationals have apparently been talking to Cleveland about trading for either Carmona and/or Sizemore. As quickly as the reports surfaced, both teams seemed to spread the word that there was little to the rumors. It makes sense that the Nationals are talking about both players, as Carmona is a solid LH SP and would represent the front of the rotation arm that Mike Rizzo has wanted all off-season. To the same end, Sizemore, an elite player when healthy, would become the long-term center fielder the Nationals have been searching for since returning to Washington. Cleveland apparently wants to clear salary, as 2011 is a clear rebuilding year for them: Sizemore makes $7.5 million in 2011 with an $8.5 million option of 2012, with a 500k buyout. Carmona is scheduled to make $6.1 million this season and is under team control for a few years, meaning he would be quite expensive to acquire.
When the story first broke, it just did not seem to make sense for a few reasons: the first is that Mike Rizzo seems to make his moves covertly, so letting this get out just does not fit his modus operandi. But further, I am not sure a trade makes sense for either club right now. Why would Cleveland want to trade Sizemore right now after two down seasons and before returning to the field and proving his health? It would be the ultimate sell-low move. And with most teams having their starting rotations relatively squared away this late in January, why would Cleveland seemingly just be putting Carmona on the market? It would be far more logical for them to have shopped him hard during the winter meetings when the list of suitors would be significantly longer.
But to try to answer your question, it would cost far too much in terms of prospects at this point to acquire Carmona, and without seeing Sizemore on the field and healthy, the risk to acquire him would not make it worth the while of the Indians to move him. I hope to be proven wrong, as both players would represent huge upgrades at areas of need for the organization, but I would be surprised if anything further came from this report.
Anonymous, Florida -> What do you think about the Albert Pujols negotiations with St. Louis?
Well, the easy answer is like Derek Jeter’s negotiations this off-season with the Yankees, Pujols will simply end up resigning with the Cardinals next off-season. There are not many players that are simply identified with specific teams, and I believe Pujols has reached that elite status. It also seems as both the player and the team want to make it work. I also believe that the market for Albert would be fairly limited as well. Using this off-season as a template, certainly Pujols will receive a seven year contract if Jayson Werth can get a seven year deal from the Nationals, and Albert should obtain in excess of the annual salary Cliff Lee received from Philadelphia of $25 million dollars. So if the market begins at seven years and $175 million, perhaps only 7-10 teams in baseball could fit that contract within their payroll, and most already are set for years to come at first base(Yankees- Teixeira, Boston -A. Gonzalez, Philadelphia – R. Howard, Detroit – M. Cabrera, White Sox – Dunn and Konerko, etc.) The only teams I can come up with that could potentially fit besides St. Louis would be the Cubs (unlikely because of the rivalry), the Angels (unlikely because of absorbing Vernon Wells contract), and the Mets (I do not see it but do not have a great reason why) so I struggle to come up with legitimate competition for his services next off-season. So while I believe both sides will do some negotiating through the press and this will be a story all season, I think this essentially is a non-event and Pujols signs sometime after the season for 7 years and $200 plus million dollars. And as scary as it sounds, he might be worth every penny of that investment.
I will be back tomorrow with another column. Thanks again for reading and please continue to email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org